Representation of Theory in Occupational Therapy Education: An International Systematic Mapping Review, 1940-2015

Rachel Heeb, Barb Hooper, Steven D. Taff
2020 Journal of Occupational Therapy Education  
Previous review research has outlined the state of various aspects of occupational therapy education. No reviews, however, have examined how theory, specifically, is represented in educational scholarship. This systematic mapping review explored the way in which theory, as it relates to both occupational therapy practice and pedagogy, has been discussed throughout occupational therapy education scholarship. In the education scholarship, theory pertaining to occupational therapy practice often
more » ... py practice often overlaps with theory pertaining to pedagogy; therefore, both domains were included in the review. A systematic search for occupational therapy education literature published between 1940 and 2015 resulted in 9765 unique citations, 556 of which met inclusion criteria. Papers were coded for curriculum design, teaching methods, research design, and theoretical content. This paper presents findings related to theoretical content. Results demonstrated that theory, when referenced, referred to established social science theories more prominently than occupational therapy specific theory, until recent decades. Further, theory was often treated as a footnote to the main discussion rather than as a focal point. The authors discuss the importance of prioritizing a line of scholarship surrounding how to convey theory in such a way that it better informs pedagogy as well as the processes of evaluation, planning, and intervention. This comprehensive historical review serves to orient occupational therapy scholars to the past and present state of theory while also shedding light on its necessary inclusion in future scholarship. ABSTRACT Previous review research has outlined the state of various aspects of occupational therapy education. No reviews, however, have examined how theory, specifically, is represented in educational scholarship. This systematic mapping review explored the way in which theory, as it relates to both occupational therapy practice and pedagogy, has been discussed throughout occupational therapy education scholarship. In the education scholarship, theory pertaining to occupational therapy practice often overlaps with theory pertaining to pedagogy; therefore, both domains were included in the review. A systematic search for occupational therapy education literature published between 1940 and 2015 resulted in 9765 unique citations, 556 of which met inclusion criteria. Papers were coded for curriculum design, teaching methods, research design, and theoretical content. This paper presents findings related to theoretical content. Results demonstrated that theory, when referenced, referred to established social science theories more prominently than occupational therapy specific theory, until recent decades. Further, theory was often treated as a footnote to the main discussion rather than as a focal point. The authors discuss the importance of prioritizing a line of scholarship surrounding how to convey theory in such a way that it better informs pedagogy as well as the processes of evaluation, planning, and intervention. This comprehensive historical review serves to orient occupational therapy scholars to the past and present state of theory while also shedding light on its necessary inclusion in future scholarship.
doi:10.26681/jote.2020.040401 fatcat:orbbfcdswzfvjdp4zex3vqflpq